For many years, in hallway conversations, across meals and anywhere youth services staff gather, we have shared tales and instances in which our library co-workers have been less than...shall we say...supportive?
We all know the stories. Sometimes it is treating youth staffers as if we are children; sometimes a cluelessness about how programming is more than 30 minutes of face-to-face time (Oh the planning! Oh the prep! Oh the cleanup! Oh the energy of presenting! Oh the humanity!); sometimes the sheer inequality of disparate pay and task expectations.
It seems to me we need to get out the echo chamber of talking among ourselves. We know what we do, the value of our services and expertise and the need for equity with our peers in adult services.
Now we need to step up to leadership and advocacy by bringing the conversation to our directors, managers and administration. We need to help them understand what we know.
In that spirit, I will be presenting a free webinar for directors on Tuesday February 27 at noon CST through UW-Madison iSchool. Thanks to the generosity of peers in Wisconsin who shared their stories and Storytime Undergrounders from throughout the country who shared their thoughts, directors will have some great food for thought. I hope you encourage folks in your administration to spend an hour getting more in-depth on how everyone in the library can support youth services.